– PEN Pinter Prize 2022 winner Malorie Blackman announces Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace as the International Writer of Courage 2022
– Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace is an award-winning academic, activist, and blogger from Bahrain. He has spent over a decade in prison, where he is serving a life-sentence for his role in the 2011 pro-democracy protests
– In July 2021 he launched a hunger strike to protest his ill-treatment in prison, in particular the confiscation of a manuscript he had been working on for years
– Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman is the first children’s and YA writer to be awarded the PEN Pinter Prize.
Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace is tonight, Monday 10 October 2022, named PEN Pinter Prize International Writer of Courage 2022. The Writer of Courage is awarded to a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty. The winner of the PEN Pinter Prize 2022, Malorie Blackman, made the announcement in an address at the British Library this evening, whilst accepting her award. Dr Al-Singace was selected as co-winner by Blackman in collaboration with English PEN’s Writers at Risk Programme.
Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace is an award-winning academic, activist, and blogger from Bahrain. He has spent over a decade in prison, where he is serving a life-sentence for his role in the 2011 pro-democracy protests. In July 2021 he launched a hunger strike to protest his ill-treatment in prison, in particular the confiscation of a manuscript he had been working on for years
The award was accepted on Dr Al-Singace’s behalf by Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), who made a moving speech to guests delivered in Arabic and in English. Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace is a long-standing case of concern to PEN and is among the writers featured in PENWrites, English PEN’s international letter-writing campaign in solidarity with writers in prison and at risk around the world, with many PEN members, supporters and partner organisations having written messages of solidarity to him.
PEN Pinter Prize 2022 winner, Malorie Blackman, said:
‘When I first heard of the plight of Dr Al-Singace – engineer, blogger and activist, I was immediately struck by his commitment regarding effecting change in his homeland, including by highlighting the methods used to supress freedom of expression. He has been incarcerated for over a decade and has been on hunger strike and without solid food for over 400 days, which shines a spotlight on an immensely brave man who defines the word courage.’
Photo by George Torode